Lyric Opera of Chicago is building a theatrically exciting, musically impressive Ring Cycle. The addition of Siegfried in November 3, 2018, confirms the persistence of creative vision and the assuredness with which the project has been planned and executed, and makes one eager of the full Cycles in April 2020. Without any sense of either comparing or competing, I don’t think there has been, or...
The V & A Offers Exhibit and Book on “Opera: Passion, Power and Politics”
Contrary to the enthusiastic reception at the time, I left the 2017 installation at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum titled “Opera: Passion, Power and Politics” somewhat intrigued but hardly bowled over. The artifacts and visual slides that the exhibit included seemed familiar by and large; the mandatory headphones piped in recordings of performances and rehearsals […]
Critiquing a Critic
The worst thing a writer on the arts can do is to discuss a work he has not seen. I once lambasted the excellent critic for the New Yorker, Alex Ross, for writing about the staging of the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle when he had seen each of the works but not the Cycle itself. […]
Hartford Ring R.I.P.
Distressing news from the fledgling Hartford Wagner Festival. The production of Das Rheingold scheduled for this August has been cancelled. The immediate cause is not poor ticket sales, but rather the withdrawal of several artists from the endeavor. The planned use of a “digital orchestra” in the performances prompted not merely curiosity — and condemnation […]
New Translation of Artwork of the Future
A special issue of The Wagner Journal comprises, in its entirety, Emma Warner’s new translation of Wagner’s essay “The Artwork of the Future.” It is eye-opening, even riveting, and as important a piece of writing on topics Wagnerian as I have read since Magee’s Tristan Chord. My own past efforts at reading Wagner’s prose have […]